by Kym Byrnes

It’s easy to get spirited for Halloween in Carroll County — it appears we have no shortage of ghosts lurking. On top of that, we’re lucky to have local ghost experts who love to share the stories about who the spirits might be and why they might be hanging around.

According to local history, there are a haunting number of ghosts making themselves known in downtown Westminster. A self-guided walking tour of downtown Westminster offers eight distinctive sites of paranormal activity, including the old jail, where “Big Tom” was said to have slit his own throat on Christmas Day in 1844; and the old Opera House, at which Marshall Buell of Alabama gave an upsetting performance and was found dead the next day. During the month of October, staff from the Westminster branch of the Carroll County Public Library offer guided tours on Friday evenings. Visit to register for a tour or get the self-guided tour brochure at

Sykesville’s main street area has also documented ghost activity over the years. Local psychic mediums Dan and Kat Eckhart host ghost tours through October. The tours begin in the Patapsco Distilling Company and move throughout various haunted locations in town, covering a host of ghostly activities including the Snallygaster, the Sykesville BigFoot, and mysterious jail cells found in residential basements. Tickets and details can be found at

If you’re interested in even more chills and thrills, check out these other local events:

On Oct. 19 the Historical Society of Carroll County hosts a Box Lunch Talk: Ghosts of Carroll County, at which a ghost walk tour guide from the public library will present some of the county’s spookiest tales, including that of the infamous Legh Master and a haunted silver mine. Get tickets at

The Carroll County Arts Council provides a Halloweenish thrill with its Scary-Tale Endings film series in October. Catch a week of horror classics leading up to the annual late-night screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The films include Psycho, Night of the Living Dead, Halloween and Scream. Get details and tickets at